- Ernest Hemingway
There's a story behind today's post quote. Apparently, Ernest Hemingway's friends bet him that he couldn't write a story in six words. He did, they paid up, and so the six-word memoir was born. Once upon a time, a few years ago, I read one of Frank Warren's Postsecret books and the Smith magazine Six-word memoir series (which were inspired by Hemingway, hence the quote) and discovered that a few people had left secrets/memoirs of their own inside it. I was fascinated. They were heartfelt, a little sad, a little hopeful, and a whole lotta poignant. I decided to return the favour and do the same. And so I grabbed a pen and some note paper and sat down to write one secret. Some six or seven secrets later (all in different coloured pens and on different coloured bits of paper because that's how I roll), I realised how incredibly freeing it felt to do such a thing. Cathartic, even. As a result, every year I request all of the books listed below and I re-read them. Every single page, probably twice over, and I pore over the artwork and its attached confession. Looking for meaning. Looking to see how it fit/related to the author's secret. And once I've re-read them, I then write out a secret/memoir for each title and slip it into the book. Am I concerned that people may know which secrets are mine? Not particularly. Sometimes, I think secrets - or the nature of them - lose their power to hurt or sting or hold you back or stop you from looking ahead with hope when you set them free. And yes, I'm fully aware of how dorky that sounds, but I don't think that makes it any less true. These books are particularly good when you're feeling in a reflective mood. (Or if you're slightly voyeuristic, and perhaps I'm both). So read them. They really are that good. And maybe, just maybe, you'll feel like you can share your anonymous words, too. I hope so.